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Parents of Broncos crash victim sign House of Commons petition on trucking regs
The parents of the Humboldt Broncos trainer who died in last year’s bus crash has signed a House of Commons petition calling for the federal government to update trucking regulations.
“I think it’s been known for quite a while across the country that things needed to be changed, but to have to bring it to attention this way, it’s disappointing the federal government hasn’t looked at it sooner,” said Carol Brons, mother of Dayna Brons.
Dayna’s father, Lyle, who was once a truck driver himself, questioned if truck drivers are fully ready when they hit the road.
“Some of the wrecks that these drivers get in, I would say the majority of them are completely preventable.”
British Columbia woman Pattie Fair, whose husband, Steve, died in a head-on crash involving a semi-truck in 2017, started the petition.
“I thought somebody has to stand up and make a change. This needs to stop. It’s happening way too much and people’s lives including the drivers.”
The driver that hit her husband had his legs amputated after the crash, she said.
“His life is changed as well. I just felt like it wasn’t taken seriously.”
Fair says getting the petition ready has been discouraging at times, but the Humboldt Broncos bus crash gave her more momentum to advocate for change.
The petition went public Jan. 14 and has garnered more than 2,100 signatures. It asks the federal government to update four areas of trucking:
- Regulate the Class 1 commercial licensing process to be considered a nationwide skilled trade of professional drivers;
- Modify the National Occupational Classification Code to give people the opportunity to qualify for funding to support their training;
- Develop and implement a common mandatory entry-level training curriculum and a graduated licensing system for Class 1 licence candidates;
- Require licensing bodies to collect and store information on the training provider and duration of training to be associated with the record of each commercial driver.
Saskatchewan Conservative MP Kelly Block sponsored the petition, which closes May 14.
The Saskatchewan government is set to introduce its own mandatory training levels for truckers March 15.
Drivers will need 121.5 hours of training before they are able to take a test to receive a Class 1 licence.
Following a meeting with his provincial counterparts Monday in Montreal, federal transport Minister Marc Garneau said they agreed to develop a training standard for new truck drivers by January 2020.